The Street Smart Project is a street based youth program delivered in partnership with Street Industries targeting ‘at risk’ Aboriginal young people in the Inner City (Glebe, Redfern, Waterloo), operating every Saturday from 4pm to late – beginning outside the Peter Forsyth Auditorium in Broadway. This project is a community-led initiative that was created in response to growing concern amongst parents and community members about our local young people (YP) their disproportionate involvement with the justice system, high police contact, substance misuse, anti-social and risky behaviours.
We provide culturally responsive, early intervention, prevention and diversion from the justice system and risky or anti-social behaviours (and the harmful consequences of this behaviour) through the provision of mentoring, supervision and pro-social/cultural activities. Our primary aim is to reduce anti-social and risky behaviours to improve community safety and reduce the disproportionate rate of Aboriginal young people coming into contact with the justice system.
Street Smart Project operates without the use of a centre and occurs where YP “are at” both geographically and developmentally’. This project operates at times of high risk, undertaken in the late afternoons and evenings (outside of business hours), targeting ‘hot spots’ where we know YP congregate or ‘hang out’ specifically in public places including; train stations, skate parks, public sporting spaces, parks, and on the street in the Redfern/Waterloo/Glebe areas.
Our staff and volunteers target those who may be disconnected from services, family, education/employment and community in order facilitate re-engagement with services and strengthen their cultural identity which serves as a protective factor. Culturally responsive and innovative strategies will be utilised to engage the YP in discussions and activities around substance abuse and risky behaviours. Staff will work with YP to remove barriers to engagement with external service providers based on the young person’s presenting needs whilst supporting the development of individual resilience and building community cohesiveness amongst YP.
Our staff adopt a harm minimisation approach to explore/address risky or anti-social behaviours and issues identified by the YP. Harm Minimisation focuses on minimising the negative effects of substance abuse on YP, their families, peers and communities. During these activities, our staff promote pro social behaviour, activities and harm reduction strategies that aim to reduce drug/alcohol related harm through;
- Drug and alcohol education including the risks associated with substance abuse
- Developing, delivering and evaluating a range of culturally competent and accessible programs which aim to: strengthen cultural identity and increase cross cultural understanding, increase community connectedness and social cohesion, build resilience in YP, increase positive health outcomes, support YP to be safe, promote physical and mental well-being and develop life skills and coping strategies for vulnerable YP
- Prevention and health promotion
- Information and referral.